Terry Perkins

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

Peter Martin
Jimmy and Dena Katz

Pianist Peter Martin has a busy week of rehearsals and performances here in St. Louis this week. The University City resident will kick off the annual Whitaker Music Festival Wednesday evening, June 4, then follow that with a concert at the Kranzberg Arts Center Thursday evening, when he and his trio perform with vocalist Vivian Sessoms.

In this 2011 photo taken in Harlem, Maya Angelou is seated and Eugene Redmond is at her right.
Ros Crenshaw

The passing on Wednesday, May 28, of world-renowned poet, novelist and activist Maya Angelou has been a major news and social media topic.

Here in the St. Louis area, where Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, as Marguerite Johnson before moving away to Stamps, Ark., at an early age, she leaves behind her “brother in spirit,” East St. Louis-born poet and scholar, Eugene Redmond.

Carl Socolow | Alarm will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, the 20-member contemporary chamber music ensemble that has gained worldwide acclaim since its debut in 2001, has become a fixture in St. Louis since October 2012 – presenting an annual concert series at venues such as the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Pageant and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The 442s: Shawn Weil, Adam Maness, Bjorn Ranheim and Syd Rodway
Sandra Calvo

For the four musicians who make up the 442s, Duke Ellington’s words (right) resonate. Of the quartet of musicians who make up the group, two — violinist Shawn Weil and cellist Bjorn Ranheim — are members of the St. Louis Symphony. The other two — pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Maness and bassist Syd Rodway — are known for their work with vocalist Erin Bode. Maness and Rodway also have strong jazz backgrounds.

Jim Widner with bass
Dawn DeBlaze

Updated Friday, April 25, 2014 to include audio from Cityscape.

On April 17, 2004, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival debuted on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

MADCO dancers rehearsing Liquid Roads
Steve Truesdell

The Whitaker Rehearsal Hall at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri St. Louis campus was filled last week with a sense of anticipation, excitement -- and a healthy dose of underlying tension.

Dancers from the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) stretched and warmed up as choreographer Gina Patterson, MADCO Executive Director Stacy West, members of the production team, musicians for the performance and invited members of the media waited for the first complete run through of the company’s production of “Liquid Roads.”

Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, a 20-member ensemble, critically acclaimed for its performances of new music by emerging composers since its debut in 2001, has played all around the world and released six recordings over that time.

Since October 2012, Alarm Will Sound has built a strong presence in St. Louis with an annual concert series. The 2012-13 concerts took place at the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Maureen Byrne

After the devastating war that ravaged Bosnia and Herzegovina from early 1992 through 1995, refugees began arriving in the St. Louis area. And now the Bosnian population here has grown to more than 60,000, making it the largest Bosnian community outside of that country.

This Wednesday evening, the St. Louis Symphony will present a free concert in its “On Stage at Powell” Chamber Concert Series called “Bosnian Journeys: Generations.”

Provided by Modern STL

The potential of a merger between the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County has prompted lots of talk about differences and similarities between the two.

Here’s just one example. Both have public library systems. Each has a very different philosophy when it comes to balancing upgrades and improvements of their buildings with historic preservation.

Connie Fairchild
Provided by The Presenters Dolan

The format for the Songbird Café series — placing four singer-songwriters in the round and having them sing songs in turn — was made famous by the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tenn.

The approach has worked well here over the three years that Steve St. Cyr has presented the Songbird Café series at Focal Point in Maplewood and occasionally at UMSL at Grand Center.

Richard Baker
Provided by Richard Baker

Richard Baker, president of Fox Associates since 2001 and a member of the Fox Theatre staff in a variety of capacities since 1986, is leaving to become president and CEO of the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on March 17.

Earlier this week, Baker sat down for a lengthy interview that looked back on his eventful 27-plus years at the Fox, the evolution of Grand Center during that time, and an unpredictable career path that took a young boy who loved theater and Broadway from dreams of becoming a doctor, to a degree in accounting, and then full circle to the Fox.

Terence Blanchard
Provided by Mr. Blanchard

When the Sheldon Concert Hall asked Terence Blanchard to replace Latin jazz pianist Chucho Valdés for a scheduled performance this Saturday, Feb. 15, the jazz trumpeter jumped at the opportunity.

“I was sorry to hear about Chucho’s unexpected surgery that forced him to cancel his tour,” Blanchard said during a recent conversation from his home in the New Orleans area. “But I’m very happy to be coming back to St. Louis. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the past three years. My wife is starting to think of it as our second home.”

Richard McDonnell

Word spread quickly on social media this past weekend: Richard McDonnell, founder and president of the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ recording label, had died.

One of the first tributes posted -- by Dean Minderman, editor of the respected music blog “St. Louis Jazz Notes” -- was put up to replace rumor with facts. Yes, McDonnell had suffered a stoke while attending a concert Feb. 7 at Jazz at the Bistro. He died the next day.

Sandy Weltman
Returning Artist program

Sandy Weltman stands in the center of a semi-circle of chairs in the music room at Jackson Park Elementary School in University City. Fourth grade students wait expectantly to see exactly what this tall, lanky man might have in store for them.

Weltman asks the students to guess what instrument he’s going to play. Guesses range from a violin to a keyboard to a trumpet, and through a series of clues, Weltman gets one boy to correctly say the harmonica.

photo of David Robertson, Stephanie Berg and Jeanne Sinquefield
Courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony

Composer and musician Stephanie Berg will achieve a rare distinction when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs her composition, “Ravish and Mayhem” at Powell Hall performances on Jan. 10 and 11. Berg, who is in her 20s, appears to be the youngest composer from St. Louis to have a work played by the SLSO during its subscription series.

photo of George Sams
Provided by Mr. Sams

This past February, George Sams, owner of the Metropolitan Gallery, decided to close the space at 2943 Locust St. Sams had mounted art exhibitions there since taking it over in 2005 and also presented regular concerts as part of his Nu-Art Performance Series.

Musicians included Hamiet Bluiett and Oliver Lake -- natives of the St. Louis area who went on to international acclaim as members of the World Saxophone Quartet – as well as famed pianist Andrew Hill and trumpeter Eddie Henderson.

Francesca Williams and sculptor Don Wiegand stand before a shrouded mockup of the proposed statue of Tennessee Williams.
Sheila Rhodes

When Francesca Williams put on scuba gear for her first lesson on Saturday, Aug. 14, she was on the 37th day of an attempt to do 50 new things in 50 days to celebrate her 50th birthday on Aug. 28.

50 by 50

Since she kicked off her 50-things marathon on July 10, Francesca Williams had already tried shooting a hand gun, flying in a glider, getting ordained as a minister, writing 50 haikus in a day, attending a strip club, eating a fried Twinkie and spending the day at a nudist resort.

 Fans enjoy Alejandro Escovedo on the blue stage on Sunday at LouFest.
Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon

LouFest -- it's a two-day music festival featuring 18 bands scheduled to run from noon until 10 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 & 29, at Forest Park's Central Field.

Yes, a music festival in Forest Park, which has been home to the annual hot air balloon glow and race and in recent years to a couple of one-day wine and jazz events.

But a two-day music fest featuring alt-rock bands like Built to Spill, Broken Social Scene, Airborne Toxic Event, Jeff Tweedy and She & Him? Right here in River City ... er, St. Louis?

St. Louisan Big George Brock has performed at past Bluesweek festivals.
File Photo | Bluesweek

The history of St. Louis blues festivals -- like the lengthy, proud tradition of St. Louis blues music -- is a story that can be confusing. It's also a story that has plenty of different perspectives and fascinating characters, just like many of the famous blues songs born here on the banks of the Mississippi.

Jim Manley
Devin Rodino

Interview with Jim Manley

HOME: All the guys in the band are from St. Louis, but all of us have played throughout the country at one time or another. I did a show called Trumpet Party in Amsterdam that was a blast! (no pun intended!)

AGE: Wild Cool & Swingin' started about 12 years on Wednesdays at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

INSTRUMENTS: We are a nine piece group - featuring Charlie B on the vocals ... backed by a four-piece horn section and keys, guitar, drums and percussion.